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Archive for September 6th, 2011

Presuppositional Apologetics stresses the importance of the Bible shaping the presuppositions of how we even engage in Apologetics.

I’ve been fascinated with the incorporation of Messianic Prophecies and Presuppositionalism in one’s apologetics.  Even the evaluation of prophecy must be driven by a biblical philosophy of Prophecy/history.

Prior to the Messianic prophecy of the Suffering Servant Messiah in Isaiah 53, it’s interesting to see how often in Isaiah 40 onward, Isaiah attack false gods and idols.   The attacks against other gods and what they cannot do has great implication towards apologetics methodology.  For instance, in Isaiah 41:21-24 God throws down the challenge against false gods:

21[a]Present your case,” the LORD says.
“Bring forward your strong arguments,”
The King of Jacob says.
22 Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place;
As for the former events, declare what they were,
That we may consider them and know their outcome.
Or announce to us what is coming;
23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward,
That we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together.
24 Behold, you are of [b]no account,
And your work amounts to nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.

It’s almost as if God was mocking other gods and require them to live up (ironically) to the standard He places to test whether any god is a living God like Him.  And this criteria of God is set as the foundation for the “battle of the gods” before the ISAIAH 53 prophecies about the Messiah are given.  I like the words of Dr. Allan A. MacRae in commenting on this passage:

The gods of the nations are challenged to predict the future or even to explain the meaning of the past.  This challenge ends with an ironic assertion of the impotence of the heaven gods.  The LORD declares that they do not even exist; they can do nothing, and all who follow them are utterly worthless.

This emphasis on the inability of heathen gods to predict the future points to one of the great themes of this section, the argument from fullfilled prophecy, which, like the emphasis on God’s creative power, is stressed more often in this section of Isaiah than almost anywhere else in the Bible.” [Allan MacRae, The Gospel According to Isaiah, (Hatfeld, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1977), 57].

In discussion of Messianic Prophecies, the Presuppositional Apologist should stress that the Bible has already offer an interpretive framework in understanding what these prophecies mean and it’s implication in the worldview/other gods /religions debate.  Moreover, the Presuppositionalist must also be always alert for the philosophical undercurrent and presuppositions that lead an unbeliever to reject these Messianic prophecies, and then go after these presuppositions, since they control the unbeliever’s rejection of the Messianic Prophecies.

 

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